The last few years have been somewhat ideal for businesses. However, the sudden spread of a COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected the world economy. From Washington DC to Austin to Los Angeles, all of North America now feels the impacts of the novel coronavirus crisis.
The pandemic is putting many businesses in a new situation. While some argue there are companies that gain a competitive advantage and benefit in these scenarios, the majority are reporting financial disruptions and heightened operational risk. Certain industries have even been forced to close down temporarily. To make matters more difficult, there is no certain information about how long the pandemic will last, or what other events it could trigger. The only thing management teams can do is focus on minimizing the negative financial impacts of the pandemic by implementing their disaster recovery plans. In order to do this effectively, it is important to have the right business continuity partner to help you survive this downturn.
Business Continuity During a Crisis
Like so many other business processes, business continuity planning consists of identifying a need and developing ways to fulfill it. The goal behind business continuity plans is maintaining critical business functions and productivity, minimizing or preventing damage, and supporting recovery in difficult situations.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, preparing for disaster is never easy. Events can disrupt small businesses and large corporations in a matter of days. Make sure you have a business continuity plan that will have the right protocols, processes, and policies to avoid risk and compliance issues or mitigate disruption—or even solvency during the worldwide pandemic.
Anticipate How the COVID-19 Crisis Can Affect You
Due to the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 epidemic, businesses need to be prepared. You also need to balance action with some forethought when moving forward. Things remain unclear, but these are a few things we can anticipate. After all, the only way to minimize the downside of the crisis affecting us all is to keep a level head and tackle events that arise.
● Say Goodbye to Old Plans
Many businesses started out this year with a comprehensive plan of action. Whether we like it or not, those plans may need to be put on hold. These vulnerable times highlight the importance of flexibility. Focus on getting through the challenges you are facing right now, and time will tell when you can put your initial business ideas back into action.
● Less Capital
While there are some businesses seeing positive changes in the current situation, the majority of businesses will experience reduced availability of debt and investment capital. We need to understand that sources of income we might have counted on might not be available for some time. Make sure you do everything you can to get cash before things get tight.
While it may seem like exploring capital markets during a pandemic is useless, it may surprise you how many equity investments happen even during uncertain times. These investors use their business intelligence to calculate the risks. In times of disruption, it is not uncommon for product innovations, software solutions, and management systems to emerge, claiming to be the answer to staying competitive. Look into lines of credit, venture capital funds, investors, private equity firms, and banking and financial institutions that may be looking for investment opportunities, despite these challenging times.
As businesses and people begin to feel the effects of the downturn, many of them are going to look for ways to secure themselves. This means that customers are going to look for ways to stretch or reduce payments. On the other hand, vendors are going to make sure they are getting paid, and they will probably reach out and request payments.
Due to the tightening up of finances, there is going to be a lot less turnover. People are going to hold on to experienced employees and rely on them to carry the business through this difficult period. As businesses begin to experience the pressure of the downturn, some might consider letting people go. If this is the situation, then it is best done in a professional manner. Be straight forward and civil if things come down to this.
● Supply Gaps
Many businesses are reporting disruptions in supply chains. It is important to prepare for the fact that the business will experience supply shortages. The extent of these supply gaps is unknown, and we need to anticipate multiple outcomes when determining how it will impact us.
● Working Remote
Governments all around the world are taking steps to reduce the spread of the virus. This includes social distancing and working from home. With more people working remotely, we need to prepare ourselves for the possibility of increased cybersecurity threats. Take the time to go over the basics of cybersecurity. Apart from possible security issues, it is important to plan for technical support for remote workers. Make sure there is someone they can contact should problems arise.
● Increased Absenteeism
Due to the current state of events, it is important to be flexible and understanding when it comes to the expectations we have from employees. While we expect them to perform to the best of their abilities, it is going to take some time to adjust to the new status quo. In addition to that, people can have problems, such as sickness (themselves or family members), child care, etc.
● Greater Need for Communication
Communication needs to be a priority during the crisis. If leaders do not set the tone for events, then people will create their own stories. This goes for stakeholders inside and outside the company. Make sure you take action and inform people of important events and plans. This is the only way to get through this together.
● Stress – Fear of the Unknown
With so much going on around us and no certainty in the information we hear, it is to be expected that people will be more stressed. As a leader who is looking to control the situation, it is vital that you take the time to inspire employees and deescalate stress.
How Consero Can Help – Services
With so many things to prepare for, businesses need to find partners that will assist them in dealing with the numerous challenges that arise. Consero offers a robust financial solution that aims to help you find your financial footing during the crisis. Our services are designed to help you assess your current financial situation and make the right choices when moving forward. Consero’s services include:
● Bookkeeping and Back-Office Support
Consero’s outsourcing and bookkeeping service is the perfect solution for businesses that are having difficulties with their financial strategy, records, and management. There is a lot more to this third party solutions provider than keeping track of the company’s financial information. It also provides a strategic and efficient approach that enables you to save time, save money, and deliver higher returns on investment. These services can prove invaluable during a crisis. They can make all the difference between a perfectly executed plan of action and failure.
● Controller Services
Controllers are there to ensure that a business utilizes the right internal controls that keep it financially healthy and profitable. They play a vital role in interpreting figures and making informed decisions on expenses and budgets. Our controllers aim to modify their approach to your unique business needs. They are there to work with you and customize the steps you can take to make it through the pandemic’s downturn.
● Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A)
Consero Global offers finance experts and analysts that provide insight and informed decisions to help you make it through cash-tight situations. We do this through due diligence and by looking at your company and providing in-depth, detailed financial reports and analysis that will provide you with a plan of action moving forward. With the FP&A service, you will have the ability to leverage market trends, identify profit opportunities, and develop an effective business plan.
● CFO Consulting Services
Not all companies employ in-house CFOs to overlook their financial wellbeing. As the business fluctuates through a crisis, it is important that there is a key player that controls everything related to the finances of a company. The good news is that you do not need to hire a full-time CFO for this position. With Consero’s CFO consulting service, you can fill the role with an experienced CFO who will provide the leadership to improve productivity and profitability, forecast performance, act as a right hand for the CEO, and provide financial data analysis, offering key insights to improve wealth management.
Finding the right partner in difficult times is the only way to ensure your executive team is implementing the right management strategies to save the business. Consero Global offers a financial solution and finance management software that gives you a competitive advantage and is a better alternative to building and maintaining an in-house finance function. Using business intelligence, advanced financial management solutions, and cloud computing technologies, we help you reduce operational risk, gain greater financial insight through data analytics, and overcome compliance and risk management challenges by achieving financial clarity and operational efficiency.